The following are some most frequently asked questions.  If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact the course professor Xinli Wu.


1.      Who can register for the course?

A: All the students at Penn State (including all the Commonwealth Campuses) are eligible to take the course, as long as you don’t have any problem with traveling to an international destination.  However, due to class size limitations, engineering students will have the first priority.

2.       Where will the course be taught?

A: The course will be delivered in China.  Students will travel to Beijing, Dalian, Xian, Yichang, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Huangshan, Suzhou, and Shanghai, etc. to visit some great ancient and modern engineering project sites to learn the subject matter. 


3.       How many credits is this course worth?  What can the course credits be applied towards my degree program?

A: The course is worth 3.0 credits.  These 3.0 credits are designated as both GS and IL for degree requirements for all students in every major.  If you have already fulfilled the 6.0 credits of GS required for the Penn State degree, you could use ENGR 118 toward completing the 9 credits of GS as part of a 9 6 3 sequence of GA, GH, GS.  You can read details of this policy at


4.       When will the course be offered?

A: The course will be offered in the first summer session every year.  For summer 2018, the course will be offered from May 06 to June 02, 2018.


5.       How do I register for the course?

A:  You have to register through the Penn State Study Abroad website.  The registration will be open to all Penn State students from October 2017 to February 01, 2018.  The application deadline is February 01, 2018.  The decision date will be February 14, 2018 and the commitment date is February 21, 2018.


6.      What is the tuition like for this summer course?

A:  All students pay in-state summer tuition for just this course, even if they normally pay out-of-state tuition for the normal academic year.  For the cost of summer program, click here.


7.        Is there any other fee I’ll have to pay for taking this course?

A: Yes, you will have to pay a program fee for taking this course.  The program fee will cover Education Abroad administration fee, your international health insurance, housing and local transportation costs for the duration of the course while in China (including air fares, cruise ship, train and bus transportation, etc., between Chinese cities), admission to all the attractions and tours, plus some group meals.  The program fee is listed on the course registration site.

8.        Who is responsible for my visa application and international air ticket?

A:  You will be the one responsible for your own visa application and international air ticket.  The fees for visa application should be about $155.  The round trip air ticket from a city of your choice in the United States to Beijing costs about $1100-1500.  However, the course instructor will offer as much help and advice about visa application and air ticket booking as possible.  All students will be expected to arrive in Beijing on the same day, within a certain time frame that will be announced.


9.       Can I get any funding assistance for this course?

A:  Scholars are eligible to apply for some travel funds from Schreyer Honors College and all College of Engineering students may apply for travel support from the College of Engineering.  However, travel support funding is limited.  Therefore, financial need will be a factor in awarding travel support.  If you go to, there is information and the online application under “Funding Possibilities for International Experiences.” or click this link to apply for the funding support:  .  The deadline to apply is February 1For non-college of engineering student, please check with your own college for information on international travel grant application. Here is another funding support possibility.

10.       What should I expect from the course?

A:  The course should be educational, informative, FUN, and an attitude- (life-) changing experience.

11.       What's the GPA requirement for this course?

A:  Currently, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required to take this course or approved by the course instructor.


12.       Do I need to know the Chinese language to be able to register for this course?

A: No, that's not required though it would help.

13.       When do I need my passport?

A: If you don't have a passport valid for 12 months starting April 11, 2018, you should consider applying your new passport as soon as you plan and/or are committed to take this course because it takes approximately 4-6 weeks for you to get your passport processed.  Your passport number is needed to book your cruise ship and air tickets in China starting in middle of March 2018 and your physical passport is needed for applying the Chinese visa no later than April 11, 2018.  For more information about your passport application, please click . You should make an appointment to be seen at a Regional Passport Agency if:

  • The U.S. passport is needed in less than 2 weeks for international travel
  • The U.S. passport is needed within 4 weeks to obtain a foreign visa

Contact the National Passport Information Center to make an appointment or locate a Passport Agency.

Track your passport application: If you've already submitted your passport application, you can Find your Application Status.

Course inquiries: Xinli Wu, Ph.D., P.E.,
Last revised in Oct. 2, 2017